AFC Asian Player of the Year and Al Ain star Omar Abdulrahman will represent Al Ahli in Tuesday’s friendly against Spanish champions Barcelona.
A star of Asian football following his exploits for United Arab Emirates and Al Ain, 25-year-old attacking midfielder Abdulrahman has been given special dispensation to play for the reigning Saudi champions in Doha, Qatar.
Abdulrahman – who was crowned MVP in this season’s AFC Champions League after Al Ain lost the final to Jeonbuk Motors last month – will come up against Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar and company in front of a sell-out crowd as his club Al Ain do battle with Dubba in the Arabian Gulf Cup on the same day.
“Personally, I’m extremely happy to see ‘Amoory’ play this historic friendly, which I believe will have a positive impact,” Al Ain head coach Zlatko Dalic said of the 57-time UAE international.
“There is much anticipation because of the participation of great European and international football stars such as Neymar and [Lionel] Messi.
“Omar also has fans in the country, on the continent and throughout the world.”
Al-Ahli completed their preparations for the match of champions against FC Barcelona with the participation of Omar Abdulrahman.#Ahli_Barca
Abdulrahman has resisted widespread interest from Europe’s biggest teams to remain in his homeland after trailing with Premier League giants Manchester City in 2012.